Friday, January 20, 2006

A first time for everything.

Thanks to the keen eye of Colin who posted a comment on our site earlier today it appears Tuningfork has its very first mention on Pitchfork. I could be wrong but I am rather certain this the first time we have ever made it to PFM article or review.

Honored? Surprised? A little of both? I don't think this is exactly a pass out cigars and buy the bar a round kind of moment but at the same time I seemed silly not to mention it.

Hooray !?!

On the front page of PFM there is a column on the right hand side entitled "Get That Out of Your Mouth" by Chris Dahlen. The piece is about God and religion in indie music and the TFM shout out comes in the form of a quote from yours truly.

PFM says: "A couple of years ago, you couldn't even find many indie rockers who identified themselves as religious. The Danielson Famile were always far out anyway, and 16 Horsepower almost count as a country band. But then came Sufjan Stevens. After Seven Swans' moving piety and his breakthrough with Illinois, Stevens became "the Jesus guy." New fans shared stories about how they learned to get past his faith and enjoy his music, while bloggers like Pitchperfect cracked that she likes "a little less God in [her] rock." And the journalists couldn't get enough of the God angle, until, as Nick Sylvester reported on his blog, Stevens' publicist started asking reporters not to bring it up."

While I did say that in reference to Sufjan Stevens in an end of year wrap up post I will have to confess that I LOVE ME SOME DANIELSON FAMILE. Always have.

I haven't seen them play live in years but hot damn (wait that might not be the appropriate phrase to use in this context) sisters in matching nurse outfits doing matching dances is eye candy to the highest degree. A modern day Partridge family in medical costumes and surrounded by school play props helped me to further enjoy their fantastic songwriting when otherwise their 100% out of the closet God rock lyrics didn’t connect with me at all.

Their openly religious nature seems to fuel their music and that shameless pride and joy is still something I respect and admire. Being that open and free of some hipster shield of cool to the point of wonderfully freakish makes them that more endearing to me. (By freakish I mean the school play angle not them being down with Jesus and company.)

Sufjan, Pedro the Lion, and much of the Tooth & Nail roster all fall under this netherworld of a more obscured faith. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any artist who chooses to place their beliefs in a more subtle form but the message IS still there. The subliminal Christian rock lyric can be abstract enough to be about anything BUT it could just as easily be about God. I don’t have a logical eloquent way to explain why this disturbs me but as a non religious individual I prefer to know exactly where an artist is coming from.

Personally speaking music is already sacred to me so adding an outsider’s personal belief or agenda can be unsettling, especially if it feels like it is being done without my knowledge. Just to set the record straight, I am not against any form of music but like all things it boils down to a matter of taste and I stand by my statement. I do like a little less God in my Rock.

I’m not scared of the message these talented people carry I just don’t want to buy the thing they are selling.

Also one quick thing, the Christian rock movement at least in indie rock terms has been around for more than a “couple of years”. I remember attending a few different Tooth & Nail showcases back in the mid 90’s and thinking who the hell (oops) heck are all these kids? The indie music world isn’t very large so to be at a huge show and not recognize even one person in a crowd of 500 felt like a Twilight Zone episode.

And don’t even get me started on Krishna in hardcore. I still have a shirt somewhere that says "keep Krishna in airports not hardcore". How’s that for old school?